Tag Archives: xbox


Well, you knew this was coming– xbfuse. This is a program that leverages the wonderful FUSE paradigm to mount a Microsoft Xbox disc filesystem — the so-called XDVD filesystem — under Linux. I hammered out the bug mentioned in yesterday’s post (sure enough, a 64-bit offset was being demoted to a signed 32-bit quantity at one point, and that matters for filesystems this large). This is what the program looks like in action:

$ xbfuse Halo-3.iso mnt/

$ ls -al mnt/
total 4
dr-xr-xr-x  6 melanson melanson       0 2007-11-07 20:00 .
drwxr-xr-x 47 melanson melanson    4096 2007-11-10 17:31 ..
dr-xr-xr-x  2 melanson melanson       0 2007-11-07 20:00 bink
-r--r--r--  1 melanson melanson 8929280 2007-11-07 20:00 default.xex
dr-xr-xr-x  5 melanson melanson       0 2007-11-07 20:00 maps
dr-xr-xr-x  2 melanson melanson       0 2007-11-07 20:00 $SystemUpdate
dr-xr-xr-x  2 melanson melanson       0 2007-11-07 20:00 waves
-r--r--r--  1 melanson melanson  561152 2007-11-07 20:00 WaveShell-Xbox.dll
-r--r--r--  1 melanson melanson  724992 2007-11-07 20:00 WavesLibDLL.dll

$ ls -al mnt/bink/
total 0
dr-xr-xr-x 2 melanson melanson        0 2007-11-07 20:00 .
dr-xr-xr-x 6 melanson melanson        0 2007-11-07 20:00 ..
-r--r--r-- 1 melanson melanson 77940860 2007-11-07 20:00 attract_1_60.bik
-r--r--r-- 1 melanson melanson 61324440 2007-11-07 20:00 attract_2_60.bik
-r--r--r-- 1 melanson melanson 72829508 2007-11-07 20:00 attract_3_60.bik
-r--r--r-- 1 melanson melanson 69631000 2007-11-07 20:00 credits_60.bik
-r--r--r-- 1 melanson melanson 21163412 2007-11-07 20:00 intro_60.bik

$ fusermount -u mnt/

So Halo 3 uses Bink files, some very high resolution ones, rather than any Xbox-specific multimedia formats, like XMV. Actually, Bungie (the company behind Halo) may have a history with Bink, as I seem to recall that the FMV for the PC demo version of Halo was also Bink (or at least one promotional file).

I actually just thought to look up whether there are other options for mounting Xbox filesystem images under Linux. The format certainly seems to be of much greater interest than, say, GameCube filesystem images. I did find a project called Mount ISO Image that is supposed to be able to handle XDVD filesystems. Though I can’t really figure out if it’s a KDE application, a script, or a KDE script.

I took a slightly different approach to writing this one. All in all, I suppose the result is much simpler than gcfuse. The GameCube filesystem is an odd beast and required a lot of custom hacks to parse all of the data structures. However, writing xbfuse scared me more because I had to write 2 mutually recursive functions: After loading the volume descriptor, call xbfs_recurse_directory(), which then calls xbfs_recurse_file_subtree(), which calls not only itself, but also xbfs_recurse_directory() when a file entry happens to be a directory. I thought about writing xbfuse in such a way that it would traverse the data structures on demand when loading a file, since the data structures are laid out to be conducive to binary searching. I also thought about only loading the first level of the directory tree, and loading other levels on demand. But in the end, I just went with the full tree load at the outset and finally squashed the 64 -> 32-bit bug and the program seems to work quite well.

What next? Wii discs seem to use a different format than the GameCube discs and I would like to find out what that is. Plus, I am still dogged by the slightly custom Dreamcast ISO-9660-style format. There is a lot of interesting Sofdec media on those Dreamcast games. And it only takes about 26 hours to rip the contents of a Dreamcast disc onto your PC, provided that you have the right serial cable.

Related Posts:

Not Letting It Go

I’m just going to keep guessing; it’s much easier than digging up actual, empirical data. I’m starting to come to grips with the idea that the number of valid sectors contained on a DVD disc is something that’s interpreted by the optical drive firmware and enforced by the same (as is the case for RPC-2 DVD region encoding). If that’s true, there is no point in using direct SCSI access to beg for sectors beyond the magic 6,992 limit on a standard Xbox disc. Ways around this? There’s the Xbox-Linux FTP trick alluded to in my cursory post on the matter

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New Media Angle

After yesterday’s post I received a tip that I may wish to try getting at the Xbox disc data using the low-level Linux SCSI layer– the facility commonly known as SCSI generic, or simply ‘sg’. In order to make use of this facility, it is necessary to configure your Linux kernel with the right support (CONFIG_CHR_DEV_SG, CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDESCSI, but not CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDECD). Download and install the SCSI generic utilities from here (which do not compile on my AMD64 machine; fortunately, the x86-compiled utilities and associated shared library drop into the system perfectly). There are about 30 little sg* utilities in the package. One that caught my attention was sg_dd– your typical ‘dd’ Unix command, but for interacting with a SCSI device. I tested it out on a typical Xbox DVD:

$ sudo sg_dd if=/dev/sg0 of=dvd bs=2048 bpt=1 count=20
20+0 records in
20+0 records out

And, indeed, the beginning of the disc has the markings of a typical DVD filesystem. So let’s try to read beyond the 6,992-sector limit on a standard Xbox disc:

$ sudo sg_dd if=/dev/sg0 of=dvd bs=2048 bpt=1 count=2 skip=6991
reading: SCSI status: Check Condition
 Fixed format, current;  Sense key: Illegal Request
 Additional sense: Logical block address out of range

 Raw sense data (in hex):
        70 00 05 00 00 00 00 0a  00 00 00 00 21 00 00 00
        00 00
plus...: Driver_status=0x08 [DRIVER_SENSE, SUGGEST_OK]
sg_read failed, seek=1
Some error occurred,  remaining block count=1
1+0 records in
1+0 records out

I had to deal with all this SCSI nonsense in a previous life and I admit that this output is conjuring some sour memories. Anyway, it seems that the stock sg_dd command can not read beyond what the DVD header structure ostensibly reports as the size of the disc. There are a number of other utilities I need to investigate for potential. Failing that, it’s possible — with at least a modicum of effort — to program the sg layer. There may yet be a solution.

Related posts:

Xbox Media Redux

Pursuant to my post last week regarding Xbox media, I received some suggestions to throw some leading Windows utilities at the problem, notably Nero and IsoBuster. They both report the same as my results in Linux.


IsoBuster perspective


Nero perspective

I’m sure there were a lot of people out there who already knew this stuff. But it’s hard to find specifics on the internet (sort of like heavy technical details of reverse engineering).